Posts Tagged ‘Oce’

  • FESPA Berlin – Nessan Cleary’s in-depth report

    Messe Berlin, site of Fespa 2018.

    Fespa has always been about wide format printing but this year’s show saw high volume printers mixed with industrial textile printers and even corrugated printing.

    Conventional wisdom has it that large format printing is mainly about sign making and display graphics but wide format inkjet technology is pushing beyond this, which was abundantly clear at this year’s main Fespa event in Berlin, Germany. Of course, there was still plenty of sign making in evidence, but there was a renewed focus on taking this to high volume industrial markets, including corrugated printing, and alongside noticeably more clothing and home furnishings solutions.

    There was a growing use of robotics for automated loading and unloading of substrates. Most robots are designed for industrial applications so they offer long life with little maintenance, which makes for a very flexible and cost-effective solution, even taking into account the cost of integrating the control systems to synchronise the loading with the printing. Canon, for example, demonstrated a robot next to an Arizona flatbed loading media to the printer and then unloading it direct to an Océ ProCut cutting table. The system was developed with a Dutch customer, Van Vliet Printing, but is relatively easy to interface with the Arizona.

    This robot on the Canon stand loads media to the Arizona flatbed, and then unloads it to the cutting table.

    Fespa set aside one hall for corrugated printing, with the main attraction being the Fujifilm stand with an Onset X3 complete with robot for automated unloading. Ashley Playford, national sales manager for Fujifilm Australia says that a big advantage of using robots is that they can handle different stack heights regardless of how thick the material is. There’s a choice of robots depending on what each customer is trying to achieve.

    From left: Ashley Playford, national sales manager Fujifilm Australia, and Graham Blackall, ANZ technical sales specialist, with the Fujifilm Acuity Ultra.

    Naturally, several vendors used the show to launch new printers, mainly 3.2m wide machines aimed at the production end of the market. Fujifilm showed off its brand new superwide rollfed printer, the Acuity Ultra, with a choice of 3.2m and 5m widths. It can print on up to three rolls simultaneously, with independent spindles so that the rolls can hold different amounts of media. It can produce up to 236 sqm/hr. It uses greyscale Kyocera printheads with 3, 7 and 14 picolitre drop sizes and maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi, with the prints on the stand demonstrating exceptional image quality for a superwide printer. Graham Blackall, ANZ technical sales specialist for Fujifilm, says: “There’s a lot of high volume machines in the market but the market is becoming more discerning about quality now and just being ‘good enough’ is no longer good enough.”

    It uses conventional UV curing rather than LED, but has an innovative water-cooling system on the vacuum table so that it can still print to heat-sensitive materials. Blackall says that the printer can handle textiles, with soft signage becoming an emerging market, and that it can also print to mesh materials. There are eight colour channels including CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta, as well as two whites. The ink is a new, high-quality, low film weight Uvijet GS Fujifilm ink that is said to be suitable for interior graphic display work.

    EFI introduced its new 3.2m wide Vutek H-series platform. It’s a hybrid designed around a roll to roll chassis and with tables for rigid media. However, there is a new linear drive magnetic carriage that should offer a more precise transport mechanism for boards than the belt and pulley system that most hybrids use. There’s automated table and carriage alignment and fully automated printhead maintenance as well as built-in diagnostic systems for dealing to help with servicing, both remote and on-site.

    There are two versions, both using Ricoh Gen5 printheads with three different drop sizes of 7, 14 and 21 picolitres. The H3 series have three heads per colour and can produce 74 boards per hour, while the H5 have five heads per colour and print 109bph.

    Agfa announced a new hybrid 3.3m wide printer, the Jeti Tauro H3300 LED, which takes boards up to 3.3 x 2.44m or roll media up to 600mm in diameter. There’s a choice of two inksets: the general purpose Annuvia 1551, and Anuvia 1250, for absorbent media, such as paper and cardboard. Strangely, the company opted to show a tiny lego model rather than the actual printer!

    Mutoh answered customer demands by showing off its first true flatbed printer, the PerformanceJet 2508UF, which takes boards up to 1250 x 2540 mm and can handle media up to 100 mm thick and up to 50 Kg/ sqm in weight. The bed is split into different vacuum zones. This is a UV LED printer that can be configured with either two sets of CMYK or CMYK plus white and varnish. It uses four greyscale printheads but can be field-upgraded to six heads, for dual CMYK plus white and varnish.

    Mutoh also showed off a new 1.62m wide roll-to-roll device, the ValueJet 1638UR. Resolution is up to 1400 x 1400 dpi and it takes Mutoh’s new US11 UV LED ink that’s designed to work with a very wide range of substrates. It prints CMYK plus white and clear ink.

    Latex reinvented

    HP used the Fespa show to launch its first rigid latex printer, the R2000, complete with HP’s first latex white ink. The R2000 is a hybrid device, taking both roll-fed and rigid media up to 2.5m wide media and 50mm thick, and rolls up to 100kg. It has a wide platen, with 14 automatic independent vacuum chambers to hold boards in place. It uses a belt system to pull the media through the printer but has an optical sensor that watches as the media advances and can correct the movement of that media. It can print at up to 88 sqm/hr or 49 sqm/hr in six-pass mode.

    HP launched its R2000 hybrid, capable of printing to rigid materials.

    The latex ink has been completely redesigned to work with rigid materials as well as flexibles. It cures at a lower temperature which allows this printer to work with more heat sensitive materials than HP’s previous latex printers. HP has had to take out the scratch resistance built into its roll-fed inks to improve the jetting so there’s a new Latex Overcoat to help protect prints.

    HP has used the HDNA printheads from its PageWide presses, which have twice the number of nozzles with the extra row of nozzles used to recirculate the ink within the head. This is essential for printing with white ink as the heavier particles can settle in the bottom of the tanks or clog the heads.

    Ricoh is also working on a new latex printer, showing a prototype of a new roll-fed model at Fespa, which should be available towards the end of this year. Unlike Ricoh’s previous latex printer, which was built on a Mimaki chassis, this has been developed entirely by Ricoh. Angelo Mandelli, wide format product manager for Ricoh Europe, says that it can print at 40 sqm/hr in six pass mode on banner materials and at 25 sqm/hr for production quality on vinyl. It prints CMYK plus white for now but Mandelli says that Ricoh will probably add orange and green to expand the colour gamut.

    Ricoh is clearly making a much more decisive play for the wide format market, showing also a new flatbed printer, the Ricoh Pro T7210, which is mainly aimed at industrial printing markets. It takes media up to 2.1 × 3.2 metres, and up to 110mm thick. It’s capable of 50sqm/hr in Standard mode, which doubles to 100 sqm/hr in the high-speed mode. Resolution is 1200 dpi and the ink is Ricoh’s own LED UV-curable ink with a choice of four, five or six colours with the full inkset including CMYK plus white and a clear ink or varnish as well as a primer. 

    Paul Thompson, business development manager ANZ for DTG and visual display solutions at Ricoh Australia, says that much of the print industry, including large format, has become commoditised by focussing on price but that Ricoh is concentrating on adding value. He points out that Ricoh makes its own printheads and supplies heads to many other vendors, adding: “We see that inkjet is the future and that if we get it at the right quality and cost then it will make inroads in other areas.”

    An obvious example of this is the growing textiles market. Ricoh showed off a neat desktop direct to garment printer, the Ri100, which can print various items such as T-shirts, cloth bags, cushion covers and sweatshirts. It prints mainly to cotton, including blends of up to 50 percent cotton. There’s an option to include a separate heat press, the Ricoh Rh 100 Finisher, which has the same 399 x 698 mm footprint so that the printer can be stacked on top of it.

    Ricoh’s Ri100 – note the RH100 finishing unit underneath it.

    EFI Reggiani has developed a new six colour pigment ink with binder with CMYK plus red and blue for its printers, which are mainly used for home furnishing and fashion printing to materials with natural fibres such as cotton and linen. Giorgio Sala, EFI Reggiani’s ink application specialist, says: “We can eliminate the post treatment. In the drier we can fix the ink because the binder is inside the ink.” He adds: “The new ink is designed for Kyocera printheads, which all of our machines have, so we can use it with the existing machines.”

    Mimaki showed off a new version of the Tiger 1800, which was developed by its subsidiary La Meccanica and now gains a number of features typical to Mimaki printers, such as its MAPS nozzle redundancy technology as well as automated maintenance. It’s got Kyocera printheads, with the resolution raised from 600dpi to 1200 dpi.

    In conclusion, there’s a clear trend from this Fespa toward more industrialised printing for volume markets including display graphics as well as garments and home furnishings. There’s more automation, including the use of robots, as well as automatic maintenance to improve productivity, while at the same time most vendors have also improved image quality. The show itself felt extremely busy, with over 20000 visitors crammed into the halls over four days, proof that the market for wide format technology shows no sign of slowing down.

    Next year’s Fespa show takes place in Munich, Germany, from 14 – 17th May.

  • Océ Colorado set to pop up in Brisbane

    The Océ Colorado 1640.

    Océ’s Colorado 1640 UVgel wide-format printer will kick off its Australian tour in Brisbane next month with a pop-up showroom, which will give potential customers the opportunity to see the machine in action.

    The showroom will feature Océ product and technical specialists putting the wide-format printer through its paces. According to Jane Cox, business development manager for graphic arts at Océ Australia, the event is designed to show off the Colorado 1640 at a time that suits customers. “We know how hard it is for people to make time in their schedules to investigate new technologies at a corporate head office or showroom, so rather than expect the market to come to us, we’ve decided to bring the showroom and applications to the market in a convenient, interesting and fun way,” she said.

    Billed as a ‘Latex killer’, the 64-inch Colorado is Océ’s first machine to use UVgel technology, and won a Print21 Hot Pick at PacPrint last year. “We can talk about the Colorado all day and tell you why we believe UVgel is the future of print, but it’s not until you see it in action that you really appreciate the advantages it can offer,” said Cox.

    “The Pop Up Showroom gives you the opportunity to produce a range of applications produced on the Colorado, customised to your requests, so you can see for yourself the quality and versatility it offers. We will have our local team on hand to walk you through the process, break down the impact of the technology and crunch the numbers, to see how it can revolutionise your business.”

    The pop-up showroom will be in Brisbane from July 16-27, and reservations are essential. For more information, contact jane.cox@oce.com.

  • Game on for printing’s largest supplier – Print21 magazine feature

    The creation of the Canon Professional Print (CPP) division recasts the entire supply side of the printing industry in Australia and New Zealand. The amalgamation of Canon and Océ has produced a comprehensive industry supplier that addresses every level of the industry.

    In January, CPP’s inaugural director, Simon Wheeler, fronted the management cohort at the new company and spoke of his vision for the business as well as for the industry. This is an edited version of his presentation. 

    Canon Professional Print in Australia and New Zealand is the new division that addresses the markets where print is the business, or it is fundamental to the business. Our market breaks down into printing companies of one guise or another, corporate in-plants that are in effect internal print businesses and architect, construction, engineering companies where technical drawings are fundamental to the business.

    Today I’d like to explain to everyone what Canon Professional Print, CPP, is, why do we exist, who are our customers, what will we achieve and what strategies will we employ. I will lay out how we will profitably double our revenues in three years, through a strategy of extreme client intimacy. By the end of this speech I want you to believe this can be achieved and come with us on the journey. We need your support.

    So the first place to start is to explain where CPP has come from. It is an amalgamation of the majority of Océ, excluding its office business and the major parts of the PPS, LFP and DreamLabo businesses. Summarising last year, the sales of new equipment in the year proved difficult due to market conditions. Despite this the Océ Australia profit level was held at the 2011 position by the stable service results and the strong control of costs.

    What Canon Professional Print is all about – CPP’s first director, Simon Wheeler.

    The production print team also had a great year, with revenues 10 per cent up on 2011 and a strong profit improvement. They installed 15 colour ImagePresses, 60 per cent of which were new business. Large format grew all aspects of the business performance in 2012, revenue, profit and market share. This was achieved in a declining market, so well done!

    The DreamLabo team installed the first DreamLabo 5000 in the world at Pictureworks in Melbourne. After a problematic start the customer enjoyed a largely downtime free pre-Xmas period, when the machine was running up to 21 hours a day. Over 20 per cent of Pictureworks orders now coming from photo-books made on the DreamLabo.

    We are now through the integration challenges, we are lean and we are poised for growth. Sincere thanks to everyone who helped us through the integration.

    A new era

    Now let’s look forward. It is rare that something as significant as the birth of CPP happens in the print industry. It is big news. I am really excited about the possibilities open to us in the new era.

    So, let’s talk about print. Contrary to popular opinion print isn’t dead. Print is important. It inspires, persuades and records. It touches our lives constantly and we are much richer for it. Sure, some printing is unnecessary. If print is part of a workflow process that can be digitised then new technologies are replacing it. Who here has opted out of receiving bills? Who here uses a chequebook anymore? And we’ve all heard of the paperless office predictions.

    However if print inspires, persuades and records, it has more value than ever. Impact is everything. Our solutions are used by people that care about print, people that are proud about their print.

    Whether it’s sign-writer printing banners for Grand Final day on a Canon Arizona; a book printer printing the book that you or I ordered on Amazon yesterday on a Canon ColourStream; a university printery printing examination papers ready for panicking undergraduates on a Canon Varioprint; a family printer manufacturing point of sale marketing material for Myers on a Canon ImagePress; an engineer designing a new hospital with the help of a Canon Colourwave or a photography printer recording a bride’s memories of her wedding day with a digital photo book; they all care about print. CPP is a place for people that care about print as much as our customers.

    So this is the why of CPP. Canon digital print has the power to create new ways for printing businesses to achieve more than ever thought possible for customers. That’s why we do what we do. That’s why we get up in the morning.

    Market size and growth

    So let’s look forward. As I mentioned earlier, I believe we can double our revenues in three years. Let me explain how.

    Let’s talk about our customers, they are what counts. Without them we do not exist. There are 5,795 printers in Australia with combined revenues of $8.6bn. The top five; PMP, IPMG, Blue Star, GEON and OPUS only account for 18.9 per cent of the total, so it is a very fragmented industry. The vast majority of printing companies are privately owned sub-$10M turnover businesses, competing in tough markets. Many are family run and they rely on their relationships with customers and suppliers like Canon to make money. Our wide format architect, engineer and construction customers are also relatively small companies where technical drawings are fundamental to their business, so the strategy of client intimacy equally applies.

    The over-arching theme in the industry is change. Some print is in decline, some is growing, but just about every sector is seeing a growth in digital print technology. Digital print has grown to account for 8 per cent of the total volume of print in Australia, but this is set to grow markedly.

    Many printers tell me they will never buy a non-digital press again.

    Digital is coming of age and Canon is poised to be one of the key new industry leaders.  So there is an opportunity for us to build a renaissance in print. It is a new craft, with new profit opportunities. It is changing and there are new players and new technologies. We are poised for growth.

    The growth is not going to be easy. It is a hyper competitive market and in the digital press space we are number three behind Xerox and HP. We need to be number two in 2014 and number one in 2015 if we are to double our revenues.

    Enhancing Competitive Advantage

    So what’s the plan? For us, in CPP, growth will come from moving our market position to one of extreme client intimacy. We already have a client intimate approach, but we must now make this approach systemic in CPP. I’ll explain what that means later.

    Our success will come from our customer’s success, our growth from their growth. Our relationships with them are always either win-win or lose-lose, never a combination. We will grow by step increasing our revenues with enterprises we already know:

    Everything we do must make us more client intimate. Every decision we make must be viewed through the filter of does this make us more client intimate as a team? We must be trust-worthy and, importantly, we must learn who in the industry to trust. Trust is the key to any relationship. We must be constant in living the Canon values, particularly Integrity and Togetherness.

    We had three of customers at our kick off to tell us what client intimacy means to them. They were Bruce Peddlesden, managing director of On-Demand, the biggest digital printer in Australia, Frank Veltman, managing director of the largest Job printer in Australia and Andrew Smith, managing director of PictureWorks, the world’s first DreamLabo customer.  What they told us is that too often suppliers tell them what they can do with one of their machines. The suppliers they deal with ask them what do they want to do and is there any way they can help, regardless of whether there is a sale in it or not. The orders then will happen when they have the need. The selling is still tough, but being trusted is the license to be considered.

     Our cultural identity

    We will make client intimacy our cultural identity in CPP. We will shift emphasis from a position of customer intimacy based on product centricity to one based on market centricity, from trusted market follower to trusted market leader, from solutions supplier to trusted income generator consultants for our clients.

    I am announcing three strategic change initiatives today that are the key to our drive to achieve the transition to client intimacy:

    People over process, not process over people. Put simply, process is critical, but only when it supports our people to become more client intimate and help customers grow their businesses.

    Solutions to Services. This is about building Canon Print Management CPM. For those in North Ryde you will see an example of this as we will deliver this service to Canon via the ATC. We are now offering full print, print brokering, graphic design, creative and mailing services internally to mirror our offer to customers. We recognise we are in a competitive market with external suppliers, that’s healthy

    Finally, experts to networks. We will build on our technical and application expertise to become highly networked in the print industry. We will know and understand our customer’s customers, their partners in the trade and be at heart of the printing industry networks.

    We will be creating action plans for each of these initiatives and it will impact our whole business; systems, bonus plans, training, policies and financial reporting. These initiatives will deliver growth. And let me be clear, to be able to focus on the initiatives there will be some areas we will have to place less emphasis on. Bluntly if there is no link to growth through client intimacy we will only apply the required effort.

    So we bring all these ideas together in one coordinated message for the market. We let our customers know that we get it. We know they are unique and proud of their print business:

    • That they stand apart from their competition.

    • That we are proud to work with them.

    • That we know they are experts and we respect them.

    • That we will drive our growth through client intimacy.

  • Canon goes direct to market with Océ in New Zealand

    Integration of the two brands means Konica Minolta will no longer sell Océ products in NZ.

    Canon NZ moves early – before the Australian company – to create a new division for the merged companies to sell and service products to the printing industry. Canon Professional Print will be the vehicle for Canon NZ to deliver Océ products, as well as its own, for graphic arts, display graphic and high-speed printing customers.

    The new division will operate from October 1 under the management of Simon Wheeler, currently Managing Director of Océ in Oceania. He is also Director of the new Canon Professional Print divisions in Australia, which will become operative from January 1 next year, reporting directly to Yusuke Mizoguchi, Canon managing director in both countries.

    In New Zealand the exceptions to the product line-up is the Océ Arizona flatbed, which will continue to be represented by local graphic arts supplier, Aarque Group, and KMNZ customers, whose Océ machines will continue being serviced by the NZ company with Canon’s support. David Klineberg, Canon Australia general manager of Corporate Strategy and communications, says, that the new structure will not be effective until October, and that,”it’s all about us supporting the current arrangements and ensuring customers will receive continuing high standards of customer service.”

    The move is the start of the much-anticipated integration of the two companies since Canon finally closed the takeover of the Dutch-based Océ last year following prolonged negotiations with hedge fund minority shareholders. The creation of the new division is anticipated to give new direction and enthusiasm to the company and consolidate Canon’s position in the front ranks of graphic arts suppliers. It is now the largest manufacturer with the widest range of presses. It is understood the Océ brand will remain in the market for the immediate future, certainly to identify products. However it is likely the Canon brand will be the dominant meme.

    According to Simon Wheeler, the enlarged company will be stronger and better resourced than ever before. “Without doubt Canon and Océ are stronger together; combining complementary R&D, product and customer service capabilities which can only benefit our customers,” says Wheeler. He emphasized that all existing New Zealand Océ customers can rely on continuing service and support.